Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Home ministry reviews Naxal attack

NEW DELHI: Stung by the recent spurt in Maoist violence, the latest being the deadly attack on anti-Naxal commandos in Orissa, the Union Home Ministry on Monday reviewed the situation in the affected states and directed them to tighten security measures to deal with the menace.

Taking a strong view of yesterday's attack on security personnel of elite Greyhounds force of Andhra Pradesh, raised specially to deal with ultras, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta discussed the situation with senior officials.

A Home Ministry spokesman said the MHA was in touch with both Orissa and Andhra Pradesh governments as the incident had occurred at a place bordering the two states.

Thirty-seven personnel of the special force were feared drowned when Maoists struck in a big way opening fire on a launch carrying them and sinking the vessel in a reservoir in Orissa's Malkangiri district.

The spokesman said the Home Ministry has assured the two states that necessary assistance required for evacuation of injured policemen would be provided. The Home Ministry is coordinating with the two states in this regard.

Sources said in view of the time being taken to raise ten battalions comprising nearly 10,000 security personnel for the much awaited Special Anti-naxal Force on lines of the 'Greyhounds', the Home Ministry might cobble together two battalions soon with the help of policemen drawn from different security organisations.

Creation of such a force to deal with Left wing extremism in 13 states has been mooted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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